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Bill McSwain picks a social media fight about his daughter’s delayed mail ballot

A mail ballot arrived after last week's general election. Bill McSwain blames Philadelphia Democrats. Clout dug into the spat to see what really happened.

Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain announces his campaign for governor of Pennsylvania during a September rally at the Chester County Courthouse.
Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain announces his campaign for governor of Pennsylvania during a September rally at the Chester County Courthouse.Read moreJose F. Moreno / AP

Clout fans may remember Bill McSwain — the former U.S. attorney, now a Republican candidate for governor, used by former President Donald Trump as a political cudgel this summer to whack at former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr with false claims of widespread voter fraud.

Yeah, that guy.

McSwain is back with more to say about elections, and this time he’s looped his teenager daughter into a social media spat directed at what he calls “bumbling Philly Democrat Machine politicians.”

His beef: A mail ballot requested by Nancy McSwain, 18, arrived two days after the general election last week. McSwain tweeted a picture of himself last Friday holding the ballot and declaring, “We need to fix this broken system so that everyone can make their voice heard and every legal vote is counted.”

Lisa Deeley, the Democratic chair of the City Commissioners, who run elections in Philadelphia, responded with a tweet explaining that McSwain’s daughter applied to the wrong county for the ballot, which, along with “disastrous cuts” to the U.S. Postal Service, caused the delay.

McSwain countered with a tweet that Deeley was “scrambling to place the blame elsewhere at the first sign of challenge.”

So what really happened? This is what elections officials in Philadelphia and Chester County told Clout:

McSwain’s daughter, in her first year in college in Philadelphia, registered online to vote on Oct. 4, using her parents’ West Chester address. She then registered again in Philadelphia, using her new college address. Philadelphia election officials on Oct. 18 contacted Chester County, which transferred her initial registration to the city.

That caused a delay. Things got worse at the post office. The ballot was sent on Oct. 21, then sat in a local distribution center for three days and arrived at a distribution center in Wilmington on Nov. 1 and was sent out for delivery that day. The election was the next day.

The U.S. Postal Service said it could not comment without examining the mail ballot but said it is “fully committed to fulfilling our important role in the electoral process.”

We laid all that out for McSwain, who declared to Clout that “No-excuse mail-in voting relies on a broken system that increases opportunities for error, confusion, and inaccuracy. This disastrous and unconstitutional expansion was brought about by lifelong politicians who stand to benefit from bumbling Philly Democrat Machine politicians like Lisa Deeley who will stop at nothing to prop up this failing system.”

No-excuse mail voting replaced the old system where you had to give specific reason for needing to vote remotely. It became state law in 2019 with more votes from Republicans than Democrats. It survived legal challenges. The Republican Party urged voters last year to use mail ballots. McSwain, as the top federal prosecutor in Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2020, didn’t file a single case alleging any problems with mail ballots.

Is Dr. Oz mulling a run for the Senate?

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A man with an established profession but much better known for appearing on his own television show flirts with a political career. Branding exercise or burgeoning ambition?

No, this is not about Trump’s 2016 run for president. We’re talking about Mehmet Oz said to be dipping a toe in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

That was the chatter this week after the Washington Free Beacon published a story claiming the star of The Dr. Oz Show was preparing to run and hiring a campaign staff.

Oz registered to vote last December from a Bryn Athyn home owned by his mother-in-law. Clout confirmed that he voted from that Montgomery County address twice this year.

A spokesperson for the show said Oz lives in Montgomery County and told us: “Dr. Oz has received encouragement to run for the U.S. Senate, but is currently focused on our show and has no announcement at this time.”

Republican sources told Clout they heard zero about Oz’s possible interest in the race until the Free Beacon story dropped. The crowded GOP primary has been in turmoil since Trump’s pick, Sean Parnell, has been engaged in a nasty legal battle with his estranged wife, who accuses him of physically and mentally abusing her and their children. Parnell denies that.

Oz did not respond to questions about his interest in politics or take on the primary field. Trump apparently kept a close eye on Oz’s commentary last year about a regimen regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those Fox News hits included Oz suggesting a “trade-off” of some deaths for reopening schools. Oz then tweeted a video, saying he “misspoke.”

Fitzpatrick faces infrastructure friction

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick on Saturday declared the passage of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill a “historic” step toward repairing “deteriorating roads, defunct bridges and vulnerable dams and levees.”

But the Bucks County Republican didn’t respond to our questions this week as pressure built within his party to punish him and a dozen other Republican House members who supported the measure.

That pressure, of course, is coming from Trump, who failed in his one term to pass infrastructure legislation, prompting plenty of mockery.

“I say it with a heavy heart: No thank you goes to those in the House and Senate who voted for the Democrats’ non-infrastructure bill, also known as the Democrats’ presidential reelection bill,” Trump said Monday at a Republican fund-raiser. “You gave Biden a victory as his poll numbers were falling off a cliff.”

A White House estimate predicts Pennsylvania will receive in the next five years $11.3 billion for highway programs, $1.6 billion for bridge replacement and repairs, $2.8 billion for public transportation improvements, $1.4 billion for improved water systems, and $355 million for airport improvements.